Most of us would have grown up with parents promising rewards if we topped the class. Well, my parents did the same thing. Sometimes it was a bicycle, or a carom-board or something else. Whatever it was, in the end, I used to get all of it. But the catch here is, I never was above average in academics, but would still get the promised gifts. The reason behind this is very simple. My elder brother was a pretty smart kid. He used to be the top of his class, so he would get all the gifts my parents promised. And I got access to all these gifts, despite my performance.
Isn’t this similar to what we have in Christ? Haven’t we got all that we have, be it righteousness, faith, hope, all of it, a result of Christ, rather than our performance?
Just like I had access to all the gifts my brother received because of his performance, so do we have access to all the blessings and gifts because of what Christ did for us, and nothing, let me say that again, NOTHING because of what we have done.
Now, no illustration is perfect, but there was something else in my illustration that shouldn’t make sense. If I had to work towards getting my gift, then how is it a gift? Just because I didn’t pay for it? Wouldn’t it be an obligation for my parents to give me what they promised? Similarly, if it was because of something we had done, wouldn’t that be an obligation? And why would Christ die to grant us righteousness if we could indeed achieve it on our own?
And if we have achieved everything because of what Christ has done, are we obligated to perform well because we have received it for free? Like would I have to perform better in my exams to keep my gift?
I am concerned about the doctrine which says you have to do good to receive blessings. Well, the biggest blessing, salvation, came to us when we were still sinners! He loved us when there was nothing in us to love! Romans 5:6 says, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” There was nothing in us that motivated Christ to lay down his life for us. So, now, how does it become ‘doing good to be loved’?
We didn’t earn His Love! And a gift earned is not a gift at all!